LINBIT’s Technology Values

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Safeguard your data against failures, crashes, and ransomware. Ensure uninterrupted services, excel in performance, and retain control with LINBIT's trusted open-source solutions.

Protect Your Data

LINBIT promises that you will keep your data no matter what happens.
But it also takes your decision up to which kind of failure/disaster you want to be prepared for.

HDDs and SSDs are hardware components that might fail. When such a failure occurs, recovering data from failed units could become very expensive and time-consuming, a job for data-recovery experts. The classic protection from failing drives is a RAID. This is a level below LINBIT’s realm. LINBIT does not offer RAID software, but please read on.

A disaster-proof backup system is the only reliable means against ransomware, successful cyber attacks, or internal sabotage. LINBIT’s LINSTOR software brings this capability to the table. It orchestrates backing up your primary storage (full and incremental) to S3 API-compatible backup storage.

As drives, servers are just hardware. They might fail just as the drives in them. In the event of a failure, not only is your data at stake but the applications/services running on them are suddenly down. Here is where LINBIT’s DRBD software comes into the picture. Its core capability is to replicate your data online while it gets generated to another or multiple servers. Apart from keeping your data, by keeping it on multiple servers concurrently, the other important aspect is bringing up your applications/services after a server failure. That is another factor covered by LINBIT’s software stack. Please note that synchronous online data replication removes the necessity for RAID within the servers.

From LINBIT’s point of view, a data center is just a collection of servers. A data center failure can be handled with the same capabilities that LINBIT created to protect you from the fatal consequences of single server failures. It is replication between machines in different data centers and failover capabilities between those machines. Depending on the distance, different kinds of replication might be the tool of choice—maybe asynchronous online replication, maybe continuous snapshot difference shipping. Also, the means for the switching operation between sites are different compared to a service failover between two servers.

Keep Your Services Always On

Keeping your applications, services, containers, or VMs online depends greatly on how your applications are deployed to your infrastructure. Find here a list of workload orchestrators with which we deeply integrated our LINBIT software stack so that you can achieve high availability of your applications/services with these stacks in combination with LINBIT’s offerings.

LINBIT HA for Windows will come with drbd-reactor/promoter to keep important applications or services running despite possible hardware failures. It is a very lightweight HA cluster manager that relies on cluster membership information from DRBD. It requires three nodes in the cluster, though it requires only two to have a full replica of the applications/services data.

We have deep integration with Kubernetes and vendors’ flavors like Red Hat OpenShift, SUSE’s Racher, and Ubuntu’s Microk8s. We call that LINBIT SDS for Kubernetes. It comes with a Kubernetes operator, a CSI driver, and many pre-built container images. It provides highly available persistent volumes and enables timely failover operations in Kubernetes with a dedicated HA-Controller.

LINBIT’s driver for Apache CloudStack is upstream; it comes with the CloudStack software. You only need to point CloudStack to your LINBIT SDS cluster. You can use LINBIT SDS and CloudStack to create your HCI infrastructure. Supporting live and cold VM migration, as well as failover.

LINBIT SDS for OpenStack comes with a Cinder driver for OpenStack. It allows for disaggregated and hyper-converging nova nodes with cinder nodes. It provides highly available block volumes through Cinder. Supporting live and cold VM migration, as well as failover.

LINBIT SDS for OpenNebula contains a driver for OpenNebula that makes LINSTOR resource groups available as Datastores in OpenNebula. It proves a highly available Datastore for VM images and System images. It allows for disaggregated and hyper-converged deployments. Supporting live and cold VM migration, as well as failover.

Xostor is LINBIT SDS for XCP-ng. Through XenOrchestra, you get a GUI to manage most aspects of LINSTOR. It is supposed to be used in a hyper-converged way. Supporting live and cold VM migration, as well as failover.

LINBIT SDS for oVirt comes with a (Cinder) driver for oVirt. It allows you to provide LINSTOR resource groups as storage domains for oVirt. It allows for disaggregated and hyper-converging storage and compute nodes. It provides highly available volumes. Supporting live and cold VM migration, as well as failover.

LINBIT SDS for Proxmox VE contains a driver that makes it compatible with Proxmox VE. A LINSTOR resource group becomes a storage pool in Proxmox. It allows for disaggregated and hyper-converging storage and compute nodes. It provides highly available volumes. Supporting live and cold VM migration, as well as failover.

We also package LINBIT SDS as a pre-built appliance image on Alma Linux. It is available as an OVA file that you can easily deploy in VMware and other virtualization environments where LINBIT does not provide native integration.

LINBIT VSAN is also available as an ISO image with an installer, allowing you to easily create a LINBIT SDS storage cluster out of 3 or more physical machines. It provides access to highly available storage volume through the iSCSI and NFS protocols.

Excel With Best Performance

Whether you invest in server hardware or cloud infrastructure, be assured that your services get the best performance in accessing your data under the constraints of your precious investments.

LINBIT SDS is unique in the market regarding high performance while at the same time consuming fewer resources (CPU and main memory) than other solutions.
It contains optimizations that make I/O to the data as fast as possible by having a complete copy of the data on precisely that node where a particular volume gets accessed. I need to stress that this is an optimization only. It does not limit the availability of the data to having a copy of the data accessible on the node where the workload runs at the moment. LINBIT SDS immediately serves the data from another copy on another drive and is entirely transparent to the application. If the drive fails that holds the co-located copy of a particular volume, the application (service, container,  VM) continues to run wherever it runs.

The benefits of co-locating data with the processing are:

  • zero overhead read performance, just the drive latency, no network latency added
  • reduced network load, helping scalability
  • comes naturally with hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) architecture

Concrete performance numbers are a function of the hardware. In particular, they depend on the used networking technology (NICs and switches), drives (NVE-SSDs, SAS-SSDs, PMEM), the CPUs, available main memory, and the busses connecting these components. With these hardware components getting dated and replaced by newer generations of devices, also concrete performance results get data regularly.

Here is a list of blog articles about performance measurement results:

The LINBIT SDS software is composed of LINSTOR and DRBD. DRBD is the data plane component. It contains the necessary control elements (which nodes are online, which devices holding data are present and working) implemented in a distributed manner. LINSTOR manages a large number of DRBD clusters. Managing in the sense of creating new data volumes, resizing, deleting, taking snapshots, shipping snapshot differences, adding or removing replicas, and more. LINSTOR’s architecture has a central controller that orchestrates the cluster using a satellite process on each node it is concerned with. The controller is made highly available by a lightweight failover manager (drbd-reactor).

DBRD and LINSTOR are cleanly separated, and each component is usable independently in its own right. At the same time, when combined, they are perfectly integrated. Furthermore, the linstor controller is internally highly parallelized. For example, while it takes about 4 seconds to create a single volume, on a larger cluster, hundreds of volumes can be created in parallel in about the same time (4 seconds).
We have LINBIT SDS in production on clusters as big as 650 nodes (about 10000 volumes) and are convinced that it will also work nicely on even larger clusters. 

You’re in Control

Navigating a shifting storage landscape, LINBIT champions Open Source. With two decades of unwavering commitment, their support-backed approach ensures data availability. Open Source grants transparency, while LINBIT's expertise mitigates production glitches. Control your storage destiny with LINBIT.

Over the years, the industry went from proprietary hardware and software via “open systems” to Open Source. Still, many players in the storage industry bet on proprietary software or closed appliances. Both can lead to severe issues for customers if a vendor decides to drastically increase prices (e.g., toward the end of the life of a certain system), discontinue a particular offering, get acquired by another player, or even goes out of business.

These risks have a significantly lower impact on you as a customer if your storage software vendor delivers a service and support subscription for Open Source software. This is why LINBIT is an Open Source company.

Whatever happens to LINBIT, the source code of DRBD, Linstor, and all the other projects  is out there. These software projects will survive. They can be forked if necessary. No scenario makes them go away.

LINBIT, with its highly qualified staff, is a small but powerful player in this ecosystem. The Open Source based solution is a guarantee for you, better than a software-escrow contract with a vendor betting on proprietary technology. Time proves our approach. LINBIT has been in business for 20 Years, we have seen many competitors created by VC financing fail, while we stay consistent in our focus – keeping your data highly available.

Support for the developers that wrote a particular software package might be priceless in the case of troubles in your production environment.

Open Source is not a business model. LINBIT offers support subscriptions that contain access to pre-built packages and support from a very experienced support team that partly overlaps with the developers of those open-source packages. The pre-built packages are an increasingly important aspect as the burden to produce easily usable software packages from source code becomes increasingly involved. Installing these packages is trivial and it follows LINBIT always follows the usual practises of the underlying Linux distribution.

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